Microsoft brought an end to a 27-year-old issue: how to collaborate on documents. The resulting tool, coauthoring, will be available in Office 2010.
"For 27 years, only one person could use Word at a time," said Bailor, a Microsoft Word program manager. "It took a lot of really smart people a really long time to develop and deliver something different."
Enter coauthoring, a new tool in Office 2010 that Bailor helped develop. Using Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, the tool allows multiple people to work on a single copy of a document at the same time or at different times, seamlessly, whether they are online or offline.
Before coauthoring, people trying to work simultaneously on a document would get locked out if one person was already working in it. A document sent out for review to multiple people often would come back with edits from each person, leaving one person to have to try to compile everyone's changes. And, although e-mail made collaborating easier in some ways, it also introduced a whole new set of woes, including version control.
The coauthoring user model keeps users in control while making sharing simple, Microsoft said. "They save to share just like they always have when working with documents on servers, and now saving will also bring others? changes into their document seamlessly."
Microsoft has already reached the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) milestone for Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Visio 2010 and Project 2010.
Microsoft's Volume License customers with active Software Assurance (SA) on these products will be one of the first to receive the 2010 set of products. They will be able to download the products in English via the Volume Licensing Service Center starting April 27. Customers without SA will be able to purchase the new products through Volume Licensing from Microsoft partners starting May 1.
Office 2010 will first become available in retail stores in June in the US, and users can pre-order these retail versions of Office 2010 at http://store.microsoft.com/OfficePreorder today to receive Office when it becomes available.